Pitch Perfect at RWA13

July 24, 2013 § 8 Comments

1RWA13_Poster

I am still suffering from jet lag and still absorbing my first Romance Writers of America conference. This last year and a half has been about me finishing my novel and getting ready to pitch it at RWA 13. And . . . drumroll. The agent I pitched to requested the first five chapters. Okay, my stomach just flipped over.

2PitchPrepDiaVic

The Sunday before I left for Atlanta, I invited my Hot Tub Readers over for dinner and we hashed out the pitch. Yes, that is my well-worn Synonym Finder in Vic’s hands. We had to find another word for “hot stud.”

3PitchPrepRnd1

Here I’m smiling because the three of us agreed that the pitch was perfect. I tore apart and rewrote the whole thing a few days later in my hotel room, but that’s okay.

4TsATL

My first night in ATL, I hung out with my friend T at her place. Per tradition, we drank wine and ate Trader Joe’s snacks and I planned my conference schedule and she told me I would do fabulous at my pitch.

5BestWestern

The hotel I stayed at was two blocks from the Marriott Marquis conference hotel. This worked really well, except on Friday, when it rained right before I left for my pitch appointment. No umbrella. None. I am not making this up. But I’m a little ahead of myself.

6CarmackAutog

On Thursday I went to the Honing Your Pitch workshop and the Seven Secrets to Writing a Synopsis workshop and the New Adult panel, where Cora Carmack autographed my copy of Losing It, which I had just finished reading, and it was fabulous.

7JillScottConcert

Then I freaked out. My pitch needed work. Lots of work. I brooded upon this at the Jill Scott concert that night. See how tired and stressed I am? T didn’t even bother trying to tell me to chill. She knows me too well. I came to life for Scott’s “Hate On Me” though. As she says– “I’m gon be who I be.”

8MarquisLion

I missed all of the Friday morning workshops, holed up in my hotel room revising my pitch. When one of my LERA chapter members texted me to see if I wanted her to save me a seat at lunch, I texted back:

I would love that, except that I am frantically reworking my pitch right now and trying not to have a meltdown. 😀 😥

I paced back and forth rehearsing my lines until it was time to leave. And it was raining. I’m sure this was symbolic somehow. Good thing I brought a workout jacket, which I held above my head in place of an umbrella as I trotted over to the Marriott Marquis.

9Cheers

Practice makes perfect. The agent I pitched to requested that I send her the first five chapters!

T refrained from saying “I told you so.” She just wants me to remember and tell the story of how I sat in her house and she said, “Your pitch will be fabulous.”

11Celo

Celebrating at High Velocity. Eeeeee!

11MorningAfter

My last morning in Atlanta, I waited for a cab outside the Best Western at 6:45 am. After having been up until 3:00 am celebrating T’s birthday. Yeah. Lots of sleeping will happen after I’m  home.

And then comes getting everything together to submit to the agent. The next phase of the journey.

The Reading Parties Come to an End

July 9, 2013 § 3 Comments

. . . and we’re a little bit sad about that.

We’ll have to come up with another reason to get together and relax in the hot tub on Sunday afternoons.

HotTubReadersFinal

I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks because I’ve been in the writing cave. Spending every spare moment on getting the final manuscript ready for the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference. I wrote during lunch hours, three hours every night after work, several hours on the weekend, and all day on the 4th of July. It paid off. Everything was done in time for the final reading party that started Friday evening in the hot tub and ended Saturday afternoon in the living room.

I kind of can’t believe it’s over. None of us can. We started in January, with me frantically re-writing just a couple chapters ahead of the readings, and we finished in the first week of July. What a journey it’s been.

I expected to feel relieved. Jubilant.

Instead, I feel shell-shocked. Disoriented. And a little sad.

FinalReading-TheGarden

I still have a few minor edits based on my readers’ feedback. But it’s done. Just six months past my original goal of completing this novel by the end of 2012.

The funny thing? My two readers had totally opposite reactions to the story. They insist this is a good thing. Vic is heart, and Dia is head. The theme of my story is following your heart instead of your head. So, I guess it’s fitting that they one-eightied each other.

Now, on to writing my synopsis and prepping my pitch.

Oh, yeah. And there’s a leaky hot water heater I have to tend to.

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